The Texas Legacy of Katherine Anne Porter

The Texas Legacy of Katherine Anne Porter

The Texas Legacy of Katherine Anne Porter

The Texas Legacy of Katherine Anne Porter

Synopsis

In this study of Porter's work, Tanner focuses on Porter's denial of her Texas heritage, her apparent urge to distance herself from Texas and all things Texan. He analyzes Porter's settings and characters, emphasizing and clarifying the influence of her Texas upbringing on her creative art, exploring the conflict between the Texas Porter and the urbane-sophisticate Porter.

Born in Indian Creek, Texas, in 1890, Katherine Anne Porter was always a Texas writer, even though she roamed widely, and seemed to represent, for many readers, a more Southern and genteel facet of Texas culture than they were prepared to accept. Tanner deals with Porter as a Texas story-teller, who, her wanderings over the earth notwithstanding, was a Texas writer first and last.

Excerpt

During the composition of this critical study of Katherine Anne Porter, I have kept in mind the projected major emphasis of the books to appear in the Texas Writers Series—the influence of the Texas place on the author, focusing on writers whose Texas connections have not been fully examined. There is, of course, no lack of secondary scholarship and criticism on the life and work of Katherine Anne Porter; but scholarly and critical study of the relationship between Porter's fiction and her Texas background has not by any means been exhausted. Katherine Anne Porter fits precisely, therefore, into the emphasis of the Texas Writers Series; it is exactly that—the Texas connection—that has not yet been extensively treated. I am particularly concerned with Porter's seeming denial of her Texas heritage, her apparent urge to distance herself from Texas and all things Texan—an urge that apparently led her to re-create herself into the being she would like to have been, while disavowing her real identity. This self-made myth of Katherine Anne Porter is fascinating in itself, and of considerable importance . . .

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